6th annual DC Black Film Festival returns to Miracle Theatre on Barracks Row

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the D.C. Black Film Fest (Part 1)

After two years of virtual films during the pandemic, the D.C. Black Film Festival returns to the historic Miracle Theatre, on Barracks Row in Southeast D.C., for its sixth year.

“We’re back in person!” founder and festival director Kevin Sampson told WTOP. Still, they’ll roll out the in-person festival Thursday through Saturday, followed by a virtual showcase from Aug. 21 to Aug. 28. “It’s cool that COVID has taught us how to have a hybrid festival,” Sampson said.

The festival is unique in its mission of diversity and inclusion. “The only stipulation is that one or more of the above-the-line cast or crew needs to be of African descent,” Sampson said.

Thursday delivers “Black Daddy: The Movie,” a documentary that Sampson said shows “Black fathers being involved in their children’s lives.” A father himself, Sampson calls the role “one of the special jobs that I have on Earth. … A lot of times it’s the absent Black father, but this is a narrative that definitely needs to change.

Friday brings “Black Fiddlers,” which uncovers a history Sampson said he didn’t know about: “I didn’t realize that a lot of Black fiddle players during slavery would save their money so they could buy their freedom.”

Friday also includes the documentary “One Pint at a Time.” Sampson, who says he learned to home brew himself during the pandemic, said, “The craft brew industry is like a $1 billion industry, but there are Black brewers. … Hopefully it will help shine a light on their brands.”

On Saturday, don’t miss “New Santa,” in which a DEI-influenced North Pole produces a Black Santa.

“This Black Santa is talking to a white woman who’s been been feeding him cookies,” Sampson said. “It’s really funny, but it’s a really cool way to talk about diversity and inclusion and where we are in our world right now.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the D.C. Black Film Fest (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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